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December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays and a Wonderfully Creative 2011

I make fabric ornaments for our Christmas Tree every year and I'm now trying to paint all of them to have images I can play with.  This small stocking was made in 1989.

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My daughter and I took Sydney to the NY City Ballet version of The Nutcracker this week.  She loves the Mouse King, but I painted him after we went last year.  This year I decided that we really needed a Nutcracker drawing  - and I sketched this one from a little ornament I bought for her.

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I still have two more small stocking stuffers to sew today, then tomorrow I'll make the flourless chocolate cake for Christmas Eve dinner here with all of our children and grandchildren.  My husband is making a rib roast, and creamed spinach.  I just need to bake bread and make rice pilaf.  We love Christmas!

December 17, 2010

Sydney's Winter Adventure

Sydney will turn 6 on Monday and her younger brother Callum will turn 4 on Sunday.  Celebrating Hannukah, Birthdays, and Christmas all within a few weeks is too much for them, so I took Sydney for a "Birthday in June" art supply shopping trip the last two years and will see what special presents/adventure Callum will want this summer, instead of now.  This year I also decided that Syd and I needed a special day for her birthday and yesterday I picked her up from school after an early morning dismissal and we headed to midtown to Grand Central Station and Bryant Park - to see their Christmas Villages (crafts booths), watch the ice skaters, photograph the Christmas trees, and take a carousel ride.  Then we headed to Bead World - our real destination - and she picked out 10 special beads for us to put together for a "fob" for her school backpack. 

Her hat wasn't keeping her ears warm so we decided that she needed a pair of earmuffs like I was wearing.  Here she is happily showing off her new pink earmuffs!

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And my sketch of her in my visual journal to remember this happy occasion.

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Regular readers of my blog will know that I only sketch and paint my grandchildren from the back - this may be a new beginning....  I painted her silver jacket with WN silver gouache which looks great on the page, but doesn't scan as a metallic.

December 13, 2010

Figure Drawing December 7, 2010

My friend Melanie Testa and I went to the Society of Illustrators Figure Drawing session last week - and enjoyed a 3-piece jazz combo, a glass of red wine, and 3 hours with 2 models for every pose.  One of the models was new to me - and was the tallest and thinnest I sketched there.  It took me awhile to get used to the thinness of her extremities and seemed to draw her, rather than the other model during each pose.  Here is one 5 minute sketch, two 10 minute sketches, and two 20 minute sketches.  In the last drawing, I added the second, seated model, as an afterthought and she probably should be larger.

See Melanie's blog for her sketches from the session.  She is also posting them today.

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I met Melanie just over a year ago and love having someone to share art, surface design and quilting, and bookbinding with.  This was our first Live Figure Drawing together, although we regularly sketch around New York City, and work on projects with our Journal Study Group.

December 9, 2010

Visual Journal Pages - Random

I love to create journal pages that reflect my daily life - and post them only occasionally to my blog.  Since I started sketching daily in Jan 2007, I filled 33 sketchbooks in addition to travel sketchbooks and those devoted to figure drawing.  Here are 3 recent daily pages that I like:

I volunteer for Goddard Riverside, a settlement house on the Upper Westside of New York, sorting new books donated by publishers each Fall and then working at the annual Book Fair where the books are sold for 50% or less.  This page was created by sketching the main characters of 3 books that I bought for our grandchildren.

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We take our oldest Grandson to 4 NY Philharmonic Young Peoples' Concerts each year and he gets to try instruments in the Kidzone, which is held the hour before the concert.  Last Saturday was a concert on Baroque music and he was able to try the harpsichord, and play a violin (which he does anyway.)  The violinist picture on this page is the image from the Kidzone violin site in Avery Fisher Hall.

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I spent last weekend planning and making some Christmas gifts for the children and decided to draw a grid page, in case I want to make some fun foam stamps for the season.

 

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October 30, 2010

Inspiration from the Recent Picasso Exhibit

Our Journal Study Group went together to see the recent Picasso exhibit at the Met.  Picasso's linocut reinterpretation of a Lucas Cranach II painting made us wonder whether could reinterpret a master painting and make a print using fun foam stamps. 

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              Lucas Cranach II, Portrait of a Woman, 1564

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   Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Woman after Lucas Cranach II, 1564

Pat developed a method for this challenge and published a recent article about it (faux silk screen printing) in the September/October issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. 

As we exited the Picasso exhibit, Melanie and I saw Cranach The Elder's painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes and we immediately selected it for our challenge.  Pat selected a painting of St. Jerome by El Greco.  Today we gathered around my dining room table and made our prints.

I took a photo of the painting in the Met and made a painting in my sketchbook in preparation.  Today I traced it, transferred the image to adhesive backed fun foam, and made multiple stamps (at least 12!).  Here are the 3 images. 

Cranach Painting

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   Lucas Cranach the Elder, Judith With the Head of Holofernes, 1530

My Sketchbook Page

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My Stamped Image:  approximately 6 X 9"

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I ran out of room on my sketchbook page and didn't draw Holofernes' head.  I'll need to do it separately, make stamps, and add it to my next print. 

Go here to see Melanie Testa's print ( she has his head!) and here to see Pat Gaignat's print.  We agreed to each upload our prints this morning.  I thought for sure that Pat was going to describe me carving stamps with a box cutter or upload a photo of the mess I created, but she didn't.  She did however, talk about the men outside my window.  Our apartment building is in the final phase of facade repair, and since we live on the second floor, the scaffolds are right outside our windows.  Over the last year Pat has taken many photos of "the men."

We had lots of fun while working on our project, learning and experimenting as we went.  My drawing was biggest and I failed to simplify enough, so they were pushing me along. They wanted me to get done so I could make a tag for each of them before they left!  See the tags on Pat's blog post this morning.